(RNS) Promise Keepers, an evangelical ministry that has focused on supporting men, will turn its attention to teen-age boys when it holds its first conference for that age group later this year.

"Promise Keepers' Passage" will be held Dec. 15 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, marking the group's first step into youth-based conferences. It is designed to aid young men in meeting challenges at home, church, school and in everyday life. "This is our window of opportunity to help shape the decisions of young men as they transition to adulthood," said Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney in a statement. "It's far easier to grow up into a man of integrity than to become one later in life by changing years of troubling behavior."

The conference for teen-age boys is part of the Denver-based organization's 17-city 2001 nationwide conference season. Speakers at the conference will include McCartney and Josh McDowell, a Christian expert on youth culture. The gathering also will feature contemporary Christian music, an extreme sports demonstration and a special time for prayer in light of the recent terrorist attacks.

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